News & AnalysisPaleontology

The Ears Have It: First Snakes Were Burrowers, Not Swimmers

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Science  08 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6159, pp. 683
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6159.683-a

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One of paleontology's sharpest debates concerns whether the first snakes crawled on land or swam in the water. Data on the inner ear anatomy of living and fossil snakes, presented at a recent meeting, suggest that snakes evolved from terrestrial, burrowing ancestors.